Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, GERANIUMS, by WILFRID WILSON GIBSON



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GERANIUMS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Stuck in a bottle on the window-sill
Last Line: Nor need to barter blossoms for a bed.
Subject(s): Flowers; Geraniums


Stuck in a bottle on the window-sill,
In the cold gaslight burning gaily red
Against the luminous blue of London night,
These flowers are mine: while somewhere out of sight
In some black-throated alley's stench and heat,
Oblivious of the racket of the street,
A poor old weary woman lies in bed.

Broken with lust and drink, blear-eyed and ill,
Her battered bonnet nodding on her head,
From a dark door she clutched my sleeve and said:
"I've sold no bunch to-day, nor touched a bite...
Son, buy six-penn'orth; and 'twill mean a bed."

So, blazing gaily red
Against the luminous deeps
Of starless London night,
They burn for my delight:
While somewhere, snug in bed,
A worn old woman sleeps.

And yet to-morrow will these blooms be dead
With all their lively beauty; and to-morrow
May end the light lusts and the heavy sorrow
Of that old body with the nodding head.
The last oath muttered, the last pint drained deep,
She'll sink, as Cleopatra sank, to sleep;
Nor need to barter blossoms for a bed.





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